A Guide to Mobile Internet in Thailand: Providers, Services, and Rates
Thailand is home to several network providers with a wide range of services and rates. Some of these services include 3G, 4G, 5G, pre-paid and post-paid mobile numbers, and Wi-Fi in some of the kingdom’s more popular areas. The main service providers in Thailand are:
- True Move
The first three, AIS, DTAC, and True Move make up around 97% of the market in Thailand. Each offer similar coverage both in the kingdom and worldwide and offer a variety of services and mobile packages. Please note that you must show your passport in order to buy a SIM card in Thailand.
Let’s take a look at some of the major providers in Thailand by looking at the different mobile packages they offer, speeds, and other services for each.
AIS, or Advanced Info Service Public Limited is the largest GSM mobile network provider in the kingdom with around 40 million customers. They offer coverage all over the country as well as international SIM plans. Some services that AIS offers include:
- Pre-Paid SIM Cards
- Post-Paid/Mobile Phone Plans
- SIM2Fly International SIMs
- AIS Super Wi-Fi
Pre-Paid SIM Cards (AIS 1–2-Call)
Pre-Paid SIM cards are excellent for anyone looking quick connectivity without being tied down to a data plan. SIM cards can be purchased at any AIS store and are easily installed by the user. To top up your mobile phone credit you can do it in person or you can easily top up your credit from anywhere in the world here.
These Pre-Paid SIM come with different data and call packages, each designed for specific users and their needs.
- The One SIM — Free Net (including TikTok) up to 4mbps, SMS 2 baht, MMS 3 baht, Call all networks for 42 satang/minute (first minute 1 baht)
- Super Social SIM — Free Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Line, Twitter, What’sApp) up to 4mbps, AIS Super Wi-Fi Free for 7 Days
- Zeed SIM — 4G Internet up to 12MB, Free Mobile Gaming (PUBG, Legends Online) no Internet Fees, Facebook Free Live Stream, Spotify no internet charges, Unlimited AIS Super Wi-Fi
Mobile Phone Plans
AIS, like many mobile network providers, offer phone plans that include a different array of speeds and data packages. For those that live in Thailand a phone plan may make the most sense as it will automatically charge you each month for the amount of data you have selected.
Monthly Rates for AIS Mobile Packages
AIS SIM2Fly International SIM Card
AIS SIM3Fly is an international SIM card offered by AIS. These are SIM cards that work in over 80 countries and regions like the US and Canada, Europe, and other Asian countries. These SIMs offer the user nonstop data while abroad and can easily be topped up from anywhere in the world, essentially making your phone an international phone.
These are great for people who travel frequently and are constantly changing networks. Non-AIS customers are welcome to have a SIM2Fly.
How to Use SIM2Fly
- Make sure the SIM has been registered. You can check if your SIM has been registered by dialing: *161#
- If it has not been registered you will need to go to any AIS store (airport stores included) with personal ID or passport.
- Set up the device. Simply insert the AIS SIM2Fly SIM card and restart the phone. You may need to turn roaming on.
- Check rates and roaming charges. If you plan on making calls as well as using data it is recommended to top up your balance before traveling. If you run out of data while abroad you can top up your AIS SIM2Fly balance here.
AIS Super WI-FI
AIS also provides WI-FI hotspots throughout the kingdom. These can be found at airports, shopping malls, and even on BTS trains.
Using AIS Super WI-FI will only allow you to surf the internet while in a WI-FI hotspot. When you sign up for AIS Super Wi-Fi you will receive a username and password. With this you can access the internet anywhere there’s an AIS hotspot.
You can easily check your username, password, and current balance by dialing: *388*1#
DTAC is the 3rd largest GSM mobile provider in Thailand. They too offer a wide range of services and products like Tourist SIM cards, monthly promotions, pre-paid and post-paid SIM cards.
DTAC has quickly become one of the most popular options for tourist coming to Thailand who want quick and easy connectivity. These SIM cards can be purchased at any DTAC store, even in Suvarnabhumi or Don Meuang airport as you arrive.
They offer different tourist plans that appeal to different travellers. Depending on your needs for data and how long you plan to stay in Thailand.
These tourist SIMS can come with unlimited internet for 8-days, 15-days, 4-days, or you can pay as you go. Free unlimited called within the DTAC network as well as allowing special international call rates to any country in the world. Staying connected while you are in Thailand has never been easier.
Topping up your balance can be easy. Simply top up at any store or you can top up your mobile credit online from anywhere in the world here.
Check remaining balance by dialing: *101*9#
Check remaining add-on balance by dialing: *101*1*9#
Check your phone number by dialing: *102*9#
DTAC also has monthly plans with competitive rates and packages.
Post-paid Add-On Packages
Anyone who has a pre-paid plan with DTAC can easily add on to your current package if you plan on going over your data allotment. You can add on an unlimited internet package as others like internet booster, max speed internet, voice package, data and call package.
TrueMove provides similar mobile services in Thailand as one of the kingdom’s major telecom providers. With coverage in the north in Chiang Mai to the beaches in the south, TrueMove has competitive prices for post-paid and pre-paid mobile SIMs as well as international rates and deals.
Pre-paid packages are great for users who want reliable connections with strong speeds without the large commitment of a contract. You can simply top up your minutes as you need them. They come in varying speeds depending on your needs. The 4G+ eSports SIM can offer up to 10mb of 300Mbps for the customer who requires a steady, strong connection.
TrueMove also offers monthly plans that have speeds up to 300 Mbps for as low as 200 THB per month. These packages are 4G nationwide with data and phone included. An ideal option for digital nomads.
International Roaming Packages
TrueMove has exclusive roaming rates for their users. These allow you to make calls and use data in Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas.
True Move Tourist SIMs
For those visiting Thailand they also offer tourist SIMs that can be used anywhere in the country. Tourist SIMs are available at different rates that provide different speeds.
You can buy SIMs just for one day or for 15 days that gives you access to social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as unlimited Wi-Fi in TrueMove hotspots and up to 30Gb of data at their maximum available speed.
As with other carriers you can top up your tourist SIM if you are staying in the country for more than 15 days.
5G Developments in Thailand
The use of 5G technology is rising all over the world and Thailand has been preparing its infrastructure to adopt this new, next generation for speed and connectivity. It is simply the next step in cellular connectivity. 5G is going to be able to achieve speeds of up to 24 times the current 4G networks, making its applications go far beyond just a mobile phone and internet surfing service.
Many of the major network providers in Thailand are rolling out 5G as quickly as they can. AIS has rolled out its 5G service in cities like Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket. Currently, use hasn’t been fully adopted by most cell phone users. Before you can use 5G technology there is a few things you will need to check:
- Make sure you have phone that is 5G compatible
- Equip your phone with the updated 5G software
- Sign up for a mobile plan that supports 5G
- Be located in an area with 5G coverage
What is the Best SIM Card for Tourists in Thailand?
As you have seen, the tourist SIM card options from AIS, True Move & DTAC are very similar.
All offer free use of social media and messaging apps. All offer a package of free calls to other numbers on the same network and all have widespread 4G coverage throughout the country. You have to be well off the beaten path to find ‘dead zones’ in Thailand. And all offer various options when it comes to the period of validity and amount of 4G data included.
Likewise, all are easy to top up after its period has run out. This can be done online or at any minimart or phone shop in Thailand. However, AIS SIM cards can no longer be topped up at 7-eleven stores, which is worth noting as 7-elevens are usually the easiest place to top up your SIM as they are ubiquitous.
So which SIM card is the best? There isn’t one clear winner. DTAC seems to be the most popular network with tourists, mainly due to it’s marketing. Among Thai users it’s by far the least popular of the network providers. True Move is by far the most popular network provider in Thailand.
But I’d keep things simple and recommend buying your tourist SIM card when you arrive at the airport. Go to whichever counter – AIS, DTAC or True – is quietest and get one there. Buying it at the airport won’t cost you any more than buying elsewhere and the staff will set it up for you.